by Ray Kuhn
There are certainly worse ways to begin your week, then with a nine game evening slate of action. We saw Christian Arroyo make his major league debut with the Giants, and among other things, Jacob Turner produce a quality start at Coors Field. If you needed proof to expect the unexpected, that was a very good example. Let’s take a look at some of the performances from the league.
1) Is Eric Thames for Real?
This has to end at some point, right? It has now turned into a game of chicken. There is no way that Thames can keep up this pace, but how successful will he be for the remainder of the season? Not only does he need to battle the expectations he has now created for himself, but also rumors of steroid use (despite numerous negative tests in Korea). After Thames went deep two more times on Monday, giving him 10 on the season, it doesn’t appear there is a truly fail safe way to handle the first baseman. He is now batting .373 on the season with 17 RBI, but we all no that it will be impossible for him to maintain this pace. I’m not sure his value will be any higher this season than it will be this week.
2) Does Jason Heyward Have Value?
We know he was value to the Cubs based on his defense, but that doesn’t help fantasy owners in the least. So far this season though, Heyward has been producing at the plate. And with Dexter Fowler now in St. Louis, center field is available, and Heyward has been finding himself there at times as well. We shouldn’t expect production in line with his contract, but perhaps we also shouldn’t ignore Heyward due to last season’s struggles. He is part of a strong lineup which means there will be pitches to hit and runners on base to take advantage of. On Monday, Heyward only had one hit, but he made it count. His three run blast was his third home run of the season, and after adding another RBI, he has 16 on the season to go along with a .294 batting average.
3) Corey Dickerson Starts Things Off
Dickerson by no means is someone you would expect to see as a lead-off hitter. However, the Rays have been putting him atop the order against right-handed pitching, and it is working. The outfielder started off the game on Monday with his fifth home run of the season while also adding a double later in the game. On the season, Dickerson is batting .324 with nine RBI and 11 runs scored. It is unlikely he will continue the .473 average he has against left-handed pitching, but based on injuries and some early season slumps, there is likely room in your lineup for Dickerson.
4) A Quality Start from Martin Perez
For starters, this did come against the Twins, but Minnesota has shown the ability to do some damage so far this season. What does show though, is that perhaps Perez is going to be more than a punching bag for opposing offenses this season. However, he is still not a pitcher I would feel comfortable recommending in all situations aside from as a streaming or spot start option against the right opponent. Perez worked around nine base runners in six innings of work, six hits and three walks, while allowing three runs and striking out just three batters to lower his ERA to 3.81.
5) Don’t Give up on Tim Anderson
While you are trying to win in your fantasy league, that isn’t necessarily the current priority for the White Sox. That is how they were able to stick with Anderson at the top of their order even as he struggled to start the season. However, it appears he is showing signs of turning things around, and on Monday he continued that trend. Anderson was 3 for 5 with three runs scored and a stolen base; just his second of the season. That brought his average up to just .208, but that is a far cry from .140 a week ago. Stick with Anderson a little bit longer if possible.
6) Colorado Will Have to Keep Playing Mark Reynolds, Right?
Talk about taking advantage of an injury situation. Reynolds is making sure he doesn’t let this opportunity pass him by as he continues to hit in the absence of David Dahl and Ian Desmond. Currently hitting fifth in the order, Trevor Story’s struggles also have something to do with that, Reynolds was 2 for 4 on Monday with his sixth home run of the season (a two run shot). The first baseman has now driven in 18 runs on the season to go along with his .329 batting average. While his success as a run producer and power threat is real, the batting average is not, and his playing time can only go down from here despite the success he is having.
7) Chris Owings Has a Grand Night
Arizona continues to trust Owings, and he continues to succeed. Batting third on Monday, in San Diego, Owings struck with the bases loaded for just his second home run of the season. That gave the shortstop, who also has outfield eligibility, 13 RBI on the season to go along with his .329 average. Owings also stole his fifth base of the season, and at this point, he has secured an everyday role in the Diamondbacks lineup.
8) What is Going on in Los Angeles?
We have Jesse Chavez picking up the win for the Angels and then Bud Norris with the save. That is not exactly something fantasy championships are made of, as neither is going to appear on many teams. It was the second victory of the season for Chavez who took advantage of an injured, and not very good, Toronto lineup, to to pitch six innings of one run ball while allowing four hits and four walks. With a 4.13 ERA on the season, along with a 1.38 WHIP, this is a situation I want to avoid moving forward (unless you are an opposing batter). And while Cam Bedrosian is currently on the disabled list, I’m not sure I truly trust Norris. He did pick up his second save of the season without allowing a run, but it wasn’t a clean inning as there was a walk and hit involved. However, given the climate of saves, you unfortunately do need to pay attention, just don’t invest much.
9) Is There Value in Matt Cain?
Before the season started, the biggest question surrounding Cain, was how long would he last in the rotation? That is still up for debate, but the injury to Madison Bumgarner could also work in Cain’s favor. Last night, Cain made a case for remaining in the rotation, and your radar, on his own merits. The right-hander picked up his second victory of the season with six shutout innings. While he is not an overpowering or dominant arm, he did limit the Dodgers to just two hits and a walk while striking out three. Cain’s ERA now sits at 2.42 to go along with a WHIP of 1.15. In 22 innings, Cain has struck out just 15 batters so there isn’t too much value there, and he also has benefitted from a .212 BABIP. Tread carefully here, but take note; especially at home and depending on the match-up.
10) Christian Arroyo Makes His Debut, Does it Matter?
It is no secret that the Giants’ offense has been struggling this season. That is certainly apparent in the left field, and that is where Eduardo Nunez found himself Monday night with Arroyo at third base. The 21-year old was hitless in four at bats with a strikeout in his debut, but one game does not make a player. The Giants certainly struck while the iron was hot, as Arroyo was hitting .446 in 16 games at Triple-A prior to his promotion this season with three home runs and 12 RBI. The most home runs Arroyo has a in a professional season are nine, in 2015 at High-A, as he is not a power hitter. However, there is still time for the power to develop, to at least not be a liability, but he is a .300 hitter
Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings:
|Top 50 Prospects||1-50|
|Right Handed Pitchers:||1-10||11-20|
|Left Handed Pitchers:||1-10|